Leangains Intermittent Fasting

Have you heard of Leangains? The idea behind this train of thought is that by skipping breakfast, eating larger meals over a shorter period of time, and exercising, you will experience faster weight loss and gain more muscle than dieting and exercise alone.

Starving for weight lossThe Leangains program has you fasting for 16 hours, then eating at all your meals in an 8 hour window.

Leangains is also a type of intermittent fasting, such as the 5:2 fasting plan and the popular Eat Stop Eat program. Sometimes these programs are also called “time restricted feeding”. The Leangains program has you “fast” (not eating) for 16 hours, then eating your normal amount of meals in the next 8 hour period.

LeanGains in a Nutshell

  • Skip breakfast. You can drink water or unsweetened drinks, but don’t eat or drink anything with calories.
  • Eat all your other meals in the next 8 hours. This will depend on your schedule, of course. For example, if you generally go to bed at 10PM, you want to stop eating 2 hours before bedtime. This means that you need to eat all of your recommended calories between 12 noon and 8PM. You can have water or unsweetened drinks after 8PM, but nothing to eat.
  • Focus on a high protein diet, especially on the days you work out.
  • Do your exercise routine when you think you will feel your best. For many people, this will be after work, but before dinner.
  • Don’t wait longer than 2 hours after exercising to eat a meal.

This plan is a style of intermittent fasting method or time restricted feeding. Limiting the hours that you can eat was introduced about 15 years ago and since its inception; it has been used by professional athletes and weight trainers because the program works.

Studies have found that, even when both groups train the same amount of time and consume the same number of calories, the group that practices intermittent fasting loses far more fat than the group that does not

Although scientists aren’t exactly sure why this is, they believe it has something to do with the hormone adiponectin, which was found in higher amounts in the group that practiced intermittent fasting, than the placebo group.

The Pros of This System

One of the main problems with any diet is being hungry. Although it might sound a bit backwards from what you have always heard (“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”) the fact is that, after just a few days, your body’s hormones begin to change.

The body responds quickly to this longer fasting time and reduces ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry.

Eating fewer times the rest of the day means less overall meal planning, which certainly makes everyone’s life a bit easier.

The biggest pro for this plan, however, is that it removes stubborn fat that even fairly lean people can’t seem to shake. That little potbelly or muffin top, seems to just drop off without any extra effort.

The Drawbacks

There are actually very few drawbacks to this system. Some people find that they get a headache in the morning if they don’t eat, but this is usually due to a lack of caffeine. Try drinking some black coffee or herbal tea, but don’t add sugar to it.

Other people find that they can’t eat everything they should in just an 8 hour window of time. This simply takes practice, like anything else. Almost everyone adjusts to this new eating plan within a week or two.

You might feel hungry in the morning at first. Your body will take 5 to 7 days to adjust. Just hang in there! You can do it!

Would this plan work for you? It would be fairly easy to try out as it requires no special equipment, no special foods, no group to sign up with, and costs nothing. You simply change the hours that you eat. What could be simpler than that?